Windfall: The Prairie Woman Who Lost Her Way and the Great-Granddaughter Who Found Her

Dreamscape Media. Jan. 2023. 10:12 hrs. ISBN 9781666623079. $17.99. MEMOIR
Journalist and documentary filmmaker Bolstad’s debut covers much ground, from memoir, political and economic history, to environmental concerns. Prompted by the discovery that her family owned mineral rights in North Dakota, Bolstad researches her great-grandmother Anna Josephine Sletvold, who homesteaded in North Dakota but mysteriously disappeared in 1907. Bolstad’s investigation reveals a mother’s love for her children and the legacy that she leaves after she’s gone. Amid devastating discoveries about her family and troubling revelations about the oil industry’s impact on the land, Bolstad emphasizes the strength and resilience of the people—past and present—she encounters on her quest for answers. Narrator Marni Penning’s pacing, tone, and inflection enhance the text, evocatively giving voice to the heartbreak and sorrow that Bolstad’s family endured. Although some readers may be more drawn to Bolstad’s story than to her exposition of the oil industry, this audio provides listeners with much food for thought.
VERDICT Share with listeners interested in history, climate change, feminism, and narrative nonfiction. The intriguing plot, homesteading history, and insights into climate change make this a winner.
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